Essential Oil Safety During Pregnancy

Essential Oil Safety During Pregnancy

Becoming pregnant brings an immense amount of joy. However, your body goes through a journey of so many changes and new experiences, it can be overwhelming and leave you feeling very vulnerable - especially when the changes can often bring feelings of discomfort and sensitivity.

The bad news is you can’t reach for your regular over the counter (not all of them, anyway) medication as you normally would. At least, not without thinking twice about the side-effects they could have on your foetus.

The good news is, you don’t have to suffer through the morning sickness, headaches, heartburn, backaches and all the other stuff in silence. Essential oils can help maintain a healthy body, support the immune system, soothe feelings of discomfort and more. These are powerful benefits that we should embrace during every phase of life - even pregnancy.

But, before you go crazy with essential oils (and believe me, you will) there are important things to consider.

First, you must consult your physician beforehand. I cannot stress this enough. Even if you have used essential oils before without any issues, you should inform your doctor. While every pregnancy is different, the goal is the same: to support the healthy, proper function of your entire body.

Second, do not buy essential oils from supermarkets or off websites such as Amazon. Make sure you research and find the purest oils that you can. I use dōTERRA essential oils. They do not have any added fillers, synthetic ingredients, or harmful contaminants in their oils, which means their efficacy isn’t reduced.

If you are new to essential oils, you should know that not all oils are safe to use during pregnancy. Avoid Clary Sage (can be used during labor if advised by your practitioner) and use Jasmine and Myrrh sparingly. Avoid using citrus oils topically during pregnancy because they are photosensitive, and use ‘hot oils’ such as Clove, Oregano, Cinnamon and Cassia, lightly.

You must be thinking, ‘Well, what’s the point then?’ But wait… There are other oils and other ways to use them!

Aromatic Use

This would typically mean using a diffuser, and you could use all the citrus oils you want! It’s a great way to support the mood of everyone in your home. Alternatively, you could put a drop or two in your palm and breathe in the scent, which is also very effective. Or if you have other kids and/or pets running about, you could just open up the bottle and inhale. For example, use a citrus oil (Wild Orange is my favourite) to help lift your mood, or a respiratory support oil to help open airways. 

Topical Use

Once you’re comfortable using your essential oils aromatically, you can start to use them topically for additional support. Make sure that you don’t apply oils directly on your skin unless you’ve diluted them in a carrier oil first. Carrier oils are vegetable-based oils, such as coconut or almond oil. Keep in mind that when using citrus oils topically, you should avoid direct sunlight for 12 hours due to their photosensitivity (even when not pregnant). Great ways to use essential oils topically is under the feet, down the spine, over reflex points and over the area of complaint.

Keep these dilution recipes in mind:

Adults: 2 drops of essential oil per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil

Children over 6 & pregnant women: 1 drop of essential oil per 1 teaspoon of carrier oil

Infants & Toddlers: 1-2 drops of essential oil with 2 tablespoons of carrier oil

Internal Use

Essential oils can be added to food, water or taken in capsules, and can be very effective when ingested. However, you must speak to your physician first, and make sure your oils are of the highest quality. This applies even when you are not pregnant.

The Most Helpful Essential Oils for Pregnancy & Postpartum

You can use essential oils individually or in various combinations, to target certain issues.

Some of the best oils for pregnancy-related ailments are:

Morning Sickness: Ginger, Spearmint, Cardamom and Lemon are great options

Nausea: Massage the back of your neck and shoulders with Lavender, massage a drop of Peppermint on your temples to ease tension headaches.

Sleep: Lavender or Serenity® (dōTERRA proprietary blend) can work wonders for sleep

Skin Irritation: Lavender can help soothe the itches and irritations

Labour: Peppermint and Wild Orange during labour can provide the energy you need to get you through the exhaustion. Or Serenity® for a calm mama.

Sore Nipples: Roman Chamomile

Increase Milk Supply: Clary Sage, Fennel or Basil

Which Essential Oils Not to Use During Pregnancy

These are abortifacients, meaning that they have the potential to cause abortions.

Angelica Root Fennel

Basil Jasmine

Camphor Marjoram

Carrot Seed Myrrh

Champa Nutmeg

Cinnamon Sage

Clary Sage White Thyme

Clove Red Thyme

While the use and benefits of essential oils might be new to many, it is important to remember that they have been around for thousands of years. As a society we are now more aware of nature’s benefits to humans. Pregnancy and essential oils remind us that nature provides abundant ways for us to heal and protect.

* Your practitioner may advise you not to engage in any aromatherapy during the first trimester. Take the time to research and educate yourself. Use your oils at your discretion under the advice of your caregiver.

Dia Dadlani lives in Lagos, Nigeria. She has a BA with Qualified Teacher Status in English Language and Linguistics from Roehampton University, and has been teaching in primary schools since 2000.

Dia discovered dōTERRA and essential oils in 2019 and incorporated them into hers and her family’s daily routine almost immediately. Since then she has taken advantage of the free education that dōTERRA offers its members and made several lifestyle changes, ditching the chemicals and toxic skin care and cleaning products and switching to essential oils instead.

Dia has been making oil blends and sprays for over a year, but only recently set-up her own small business. She makes and sells blends for babies, children and adults - for everything from hormone, sleep, mood and stress support to skincare. You will even find something for your dog!

Connect with her on Instagram: @dia_purelyessential

Via email:

And check out the website:


Please always check with your healthcare professional before making any changes to your lifestyle so as to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

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